Adobe today released an update for its Lightroom Mobile app for both iOS and Android that comes with an HDR feature that makes use of the Raw capture capability of the latest mobile devices. The new HDR mode first scans the scene to determine the correct exposure range and then captures three DNG files. After capture the files are automatically aligned, merged, de-ghosted, and tone-mapped. The end result is a 16-bit DNG that combines the benefits of the Raw file format and HDR, and can be processed in the same way as the HDR technology in Adobe Camera Raw and Lightroom.

Compared to existing smartphone HDR modes, this method offers better dynamic range, according to Adobe. Members of Adobe's Creative Cloud service get the additional benefit of automatically syncing files and edits with their desktop.

The algorithms of new HDR mode do require powerful hardware and are therefore limited to a relatively small number of devices, though. On iOS it works with all devices that are capable of capturing DNG files, such as iPhone 6s, 6s Plus, 7, 7 Plus, iPhone SE, or the iPad Pro 9.7. On Android at this point only the Samsung Galaxy S7, Galaxy S7 Edge and the Google Pixel models are supported. However, Adobe says it is working on getting the software to run on a wider range of devices.

If you have a compatible device and would like to try Adobe's new Raw HDR mode, there is a tutorial available on the Adobe Lightroom Youtube channel.